Blood Relics: Menstrual Roots of Miraculous Black Madonnas by Mary Beth Moser

By Mary Beth Moser

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2 We must distinguish between different levels and aspects of this penetration, for the political and socio-economic structures of Lucca-and, indeed, of the Garfagnana evolved across time. We must always, too, recognize the existence of the absent, the social patterns that fell outside Lucca's orbit and were therefore not documented. Grosso modo, our evidence falls into four types, which illuminate several of these levels in turn. From 720 to 865 we have evidence for small and medium proprietors and their local and extra-local activities, particularly their relationship with the bishop.

Episcopal documents survive in most places for earlier centuries than is the case for other ecclesiastical institutions, where documents survive at all. Monastic collections tend to start when the monasteries themselves were founded, or began to accumulate gifts: in the eighth century for a few of the great monastic houses of the kingdom of Italy, Farfa or S. Ambrogio di Milano or (in Tuscany) Monte Amiata; more often, above all in Tuscany, in the second wave of foundations and gift-giving that began in the last years of the tenth century and continued, for most institutions, until the early twelfth.

16). 5 Geography and Historical Ecology I 19 informally constituted, with these bounds, up to the fifteenth century. The occupation of Barga by the Florentines in 1341 and the invasion of the upper valley by the Este in 1429 complicated the matter, and the boundary of the valley became rather less clearly defined; in the end, the final extent of the Garfagnana Estense, extending down to Vallico on the right of the Serchio but excluding Barga and the 'Barghigiana' on the left, became the circondario of the Garfagnana, the 'seventeen communes' of the turn of the present century.

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